I have this female friend who likes hanging with me. She even comes at my place to spend some time. She's my good friend. Sometimes back, she had a heartbreak and she's been telling me she is not ready for relationships or roll with any guy. Some few days ago, I was at her place then she got a call and told me her man was coming so I should leave.

Afterwards, in the late night she sent me a message that she's not into relationships again. Then later in the morning she told me she sent the text because she was high and they'd been drinking. I have no interest in her whatsoever. I just have her as a friend but I need to tell her to stop lying about her current state and embrace what she has without sounding rude.

What is the best way to politely ask a female friend to stop lying to me about her relationship?

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    Important consideration: what exactly do you hope to gain by forcing this issue ? – user10743 Sep 24 at 14:19
up vote 97 down vote accepted

She is trying to justify herself

My guess is that she is lying because she tries to give you a picture of herself that, she imagines, will meet your expectations.

Try to make clear to her that she is your friend and that you are OK with whatever she wants to do with her personal life. She can start a relationship, have friends for the night or stay alone and you will be happy anyway to hang out with her and chat.

Next time you see her, try something like:

Hey, [Name], about the texts from the other night. You don't have to justify anything. I'm your friend and I'm happy as long as you're happy.

Maybe, if she feels that she doesn't have to explain what she is doing to you, and that you are not judging her, it will be easier for her to tell the truth.

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    A non-sarcastic tone of voice (maybe a little serious like a "real-talk" voice) would be helpful. If you do this in the wrong manner, it will be taken as sarcasm and berating. – John Hamilton Sep 26 at 8:51

Your friend is probably not really lying, at least not primarily to you. This sounds like a case of her not being truthful to herself first and foremost. I would assume that she would honestly like the things she says to you to be true (that she's not into relationships right now, that the thing with her ex is over, etc.), but evidently they are not. In other words, she probably believes what she tells you when she tells it to you - but then things change when he texts or calls.

If you want to be her friend, the best thing you can do is probably to have an honest conversation about what is going on in her love life. Happy people typically don't flip-flop between "I am so over this" and "he is coming to my place in an hour so you need to get out". What you can do as a friend is help her come to understand her own emotions - maybe, even likely, she isn't quite over this guy, and that's fine, but she should understand how she feels so that she can make informed decisions. As Legisey says, it's important to not judge her for her emotions (it's ok to still have feelings for somebody, even if these feelings led her to heartbreak before), but that does not necessarily mean that the best course of action is to jump right back into a relationship. Alternating between "I hate that guy" and one-night stands is probably even worse. These are things that you as a friend can help her talk through (but keep in mind that at the end of the day it's not about you - if she tells you she will not see him again only to hook up with him the next day, she isn't doing this to spite you!).


Of course, there is also the alternate possibility that, at least from her side, your relationship isn't quite platonic, and that's why she wants to convince you that she is in fact single and (almost) available. We random people on the Internet can't figure this out for you, but it's certainly a possibility to consider if she does not want to talk about her ex to specifically you.

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    I think the key here is that her continually trying to explain herself suggests that she cares what you think. That might be because she's concerned about your opinion of her, in which case you should reassure her that you don't mind either way as long as she's happy, or it might be she's worried it'll affect your intentions toward her - either because she thinks you have feelings for her, or because she has feelings for you - in which case, you should probably make sure (gently) that she's aware that your feelings toward her are entirely platonic. – anaximander Sep 26 at 16:13

It sounds like she's not entirely sure what her situation with this man is and whether or not it will develop into something she would call "a relationship". Rather than confronting her, I suggest that you be a little more accepting that she might not yet consider herself to be "in a relationship" with this man and stop using loaded and accusatory words like "lying".

  • 3
    Whether "lying" is the right word or not, it is understandable that OP does not want to be constantly told mutually exclusive things by their friend. They obviously do not judge her for the behaviour with that man, just for the behaviour towards them. Even if she is not honest to herself and them, that still means she is dishonest with them, too. – ArtificialSoul Sep 25 at 12:03
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    I'm not sure I'd describe it as dishonest, per se; it sounds more like she's unsure or in denial about it - she means what she says, but she frequently changes her mind, so that something that's true when she says it is invalidated a short time later. – anaximander Sep 26 at 16:01

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